There is a reason why one of the fashion industry’s buzziest new terms – circular fashion – is slowly starting to get the recognition and traction that it deserves. It’s closely related to words like ‘ethical’, ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘sustainability’, terms which all once used to be completely alien to most of us. However now in 2021, savvy shoppers and consumers are way more aware of fashion processes, and sustainability has never been more of a focus.
But buying vintage hats and calling it a day, thinking that’s the best way to be sustainable, is not cutting it if we want to make progress with climate change and changing the fashion industry for the better.
You might have heard the term ‘circular fashion’ in conversations about fashion and sustainability, or you might be completely in the dark about what circular fashion is and what it’s benefits are to the environment. Wherever you are in your understanding and appreciation for circular fashion, we’re here to shed some light on the process and highlight how we fit into the cycle.
What is circular fashion?
The basic definition of ‘circular fashion’ is one where clothes, accessories and shoes are designed, sourced, produced and sold where the primary intention is to keep these garments in circulation for as long as possible. The entire lifecycle of an item is taken into account, emphasising the value of each phase of the process and how important it is to utilise a garment right up until the very end before the whole process gets started again. “The end” doesn’t mean landfill either, and the purpose of circular fashion is to encourage recycling of materials or repurposing garments.
Here at Official Vintage, we're always looking at ways we can upcycle items that don't sell through traditional avenues, where our goal is to keep as much fashion out of landfill as we can. We’re committed to doing our bit for the environment as it’s up to everyone, brands and businesses as well as individual consumers, to do what they can to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious.
How does it work?
Below is a simplified version of the steps with regards to how our business works.
- Clothing, shoes and accessories are put into the recycle bins
- Items are sent off to sorting warehouses
- Our team of pickers sort through to find those unique pieces from the 80s & 90s
- These items then end up on our website and in-store
- The cycle then begins again, minimising landfill impacts and closing the loo
The circular fashion model. Image credit: the Australian Circular Fashion Conference
With the climate crisis showing no signs of letting up, it’s crucial now more than ever that we begin moving towards a circular fashion economy. Adopting a more considered model, where the beginning and end of an item’s life are of equal importance, might be just what the fashion industry needs to drastically minimise its impact on the environment. By implementing circular solutions in the fashion industry, hopefully, we can begin to effectively close the loop on fashion and textiles (and still look good whilst doing it).